You’re never too old for anything, and that includes getting married. Wedding shows, magazines, and planners might seem to cater to the younger crowd only, but weddings for those over 50 are becoming more popular. Second marriages, late marriages, and vow renewals make up a sizable chunk of modern weddings.
If this is you, you likely want to do things differently from how you would have in your 20s and 30s, and hotels and venues understand that. Whether you’re looking for something low key and laid back or lavish and luxurious, the perfect destination for your wedding is out there.
Here are six great destination wedding locations for mature brides and grooms.
1. Positano, Italy
Beautiful Positano is on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, 90 minutes from the Naples International Airport and around 3 hours from Rome. The ferry dock in Salerno is very close to the Salerno train station, which has direct trains to and from Rome.
The Hotel Poseidon in Positano offers intimate and low-key ceremonies and receptions at its restaurant or on its terrace. The hotel is located in the center of Positano, in the middle of the hills on the Amalfi Coast, so guests will have a great view from any point. Additionally, the family who owns and runs the hotel lives on-site all year long, and they work directly with clients before and during their special day to ensure that everything is exactly how they want it. The hotel doesn’t see itself as a wedding venue, but more as a hotel that provides intimate spaces for ceremonies and receptions in one of the most romantic cities in the world.
While you’re there, don’t miss a drive down the coast in the hotel’s 1971 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. It’s owned by one of the proprietors, a collector of vintage cars. You can drive it yourself, or the hotel can find a driver for you. The hotel is also known for its homemade limoncello, so you’ll want to offer this to your guests either during the reception or during the cocktail hour.
Pro Tip: Buses connect Positano to Amalfi and Sorrento. The company is called SITA, and there are two main stops in Positano. During the summer season, Positano is also connected by ferry to Sorrento, Amalfi, and Salerno.
2. Jukkasjarvi, Northern Sweden
No two winters are the same in Jukkasjarvi, so every experience is unique. If you like the idea of something different and appreciate a winter wonderland feel, this is the perfect place for a snowy wedding.
To really get that winter wedding atmosphere, get married in the ice chapel at the Icehotel. The ice chapel is available from December through April, but you can also get married on a mountaintop, on a jetty, inside a rustic tepee, or around a campfire. It is even possible to have your ceremony under the Northern Lights (however, this option is never guaranteed, since it is weather permitting). Where The Wild Is offers private airport transfers from Kiruna Airport and can arrange a package of events and experiences that suits you.
The Icehotel 365 is open all year long and is cooled by solar energy in the summer. The ice suites are handcrafted by artists from around the world. You can also stay in a chalet or hotel room.
When you’ve gotten hitched, consider getting your sauna master diploma. You can book this experience for up to 20 people, so all of your wedding guests can be involved. This 10-step experience will teach you how to sauna like a local. Ice sculpting, reindeer racing, and Northern Lights safari experiences are also available.
Pro Tip: When getting married in Sweden, you’ll need to have written consent from the local authorities, and it is recommended that you get this 12 to 14 months before you get married. Also, the couple walks down the aisle together. This might suit older couples, especially when the traditional father of the bride isn’t an option.
3. Loch Ness, Scotland
For complete peace and quiet and a wedding in beautiful historic surroundings, consider Highland Escape. Located on Loch Ness, it’s an old manse that sleeps up to 12 people. You can have your stay fully catered or do your own thing. You never know — you might even spot Nessie!
So far north that during the summer there are only 4 hours of darkness each day, this area is remote and wild, but still only 10 minutes from Inverness. With nightfall at 11:30 p.m. and sunrise at 3:30 a.m., there’s no need for artificial lighting — just the dusky pink Highland hues. During the summer, watch as the Highland deer emerge from the thick wall of trees at the top of the hill. During the spring, you might even catch the gladiatorial battles of rutting season. During the winter, the nights are often graced with the aurora borealis. And you can see the Milky Way from the front door!
No matter when you get married, you’ll feel far from the outside world in this little pocket of the Highlands, with castles in sight, nature all around, and a legendary lake on your doorstep.
4. Ios Island, Greece
The lesser-known Greek island of Ios is perfect for couples looking for a Mediterranean ceremony that’s all theirs. This 70-square-mile island is home to 365 churches, so you won’t have any trouble finding a place for the ceremony, but if you choose the five-star resort of Calilo on Papas Beach, you can have everything in one. The small white chapel at the resort is an island in a beautiful pool of blue water, and a sculpture rises beside it, spelling out the word “love.”
In keeping with the theme of romance, you can visit the final resting place of the great poet Homer. But perhaps the most romantic thing to do on Ios is naming an olive tree. Adding more than a touch of history to the estate are 535 olive trees, some of them 800 years old, that were brought over from the Peloponnese. The trees were about to be cut down and sold for firewood, but they were saved by the Michalopoulos family, the owners of Calilo, who transported hundreds of them to Ios by land and sea. Guests are invited to adopt a tree at a special name-giving ceremony and follow its rebirth and development on Saving Eternity.
Pro Tip: There is no airport on the island. Most guests fly to Athens first and then take the ferry, which is a 5-hour journey, but you could make more of your trip by traveling around some of the surrounding islands, which do have airports and are easily accessible by ferry, too.
5. Surrey, England
What better place to tie the knot than on a wine estate in the beautiful and quaint English countryside? At Denbies in Surrey, you can get married amidst the vines, and you can be sure your reception will have top-notch wines for your guests!
Surrounded by 265 acres of vineyard in the Surrey hills, Denbies offers ceremonies for up to 180 guests as well as intimate affairs for just 15 people. On-site is the Vineyard Hotel, which has 17 rooms. You can hire out the whole hotel and make use of the Gallery Restaurant, which seats 60 guests, or the Conservatory Atrium, which seats 250.
While you’re in the area, why not take a vineyard tour and indulge in some wine tasting? There are plenty of vineyards in the area, so you can easily hop from one to the next!
6. Ontario, Canada
You’re unlikely to find a venue that says “wedding” like the Wedding Cake Cottage in Ontario. Built in the 1860s and bursting with old-time charm, the Wedding Cake Cottage is the ideal spot for couples who want a quiet and intimate wedding. You can invite a few guests, but not more than 40, or you can do the whole thing with just the two of you. The Wedding Cake Cottage caters to couples who want their special day to be just for them — private, intimate, and with the focus on the ceremony and the marriage of the two people.
One of the unique features of this venue is that it is the only former country church in Ontario that couples can get married in and then stay overnight in. The choir loft has been turned into a hidden suite, so you can get married in the cottage and then simply tiptoe up to your honeymoon suite!